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John Harvery

Still Water

Heinemann 1997

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Charlie, is it tarragon or basil you don't like? I can never remember.' Resnick was sitting in the downstairs front room of Hannah's house, dark even though it was shy of seven on this late September evening, dark across the park that faced the small terrace through shrubs and railings, and Resnick sitting close by the corner table lamp, glossing through Hannah's back copies of the Independent's Sunday magazine. 'Tarragon,' he called back, 'but it's not that I don't like it. A bit strong sometimes, that's all.' In the kitchen, Hannah laughed quietly. From a man who regularly crammed sandwiches with everything from extra strong Gorgonzola to garlic salami, she thought that was a bit rich. 'You could open the wine in a few minutes,' she called back. 'What time are they coming?' 'Half-seven. Which probably means not till eight. I thought we could have a glass first.'

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